NAFTA leaders target 50% renewable energy sources by 2025 | NRS-Import | DW | 29.06.2016
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NAFTA leaders target 50% renewable energy sources by 2025

US President Barack Obama, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto have said they will aim to make renewable sources of energy amount to 50 percent of North America's electricity by 2025.

Meeting in Ottawa, the Canadian capital, the three NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) leaders agreed to up the renewable energy sourcing target from the 37 percent agreed in 2015.

Obama adviser Brian Deese said this was an unprecedented effort to develop a continentwide strategy on climate change and that the US has the tools it needs, including tax credits for renewables, to reach the target.

A joint statement also pledged the three countries to accelerate cross-border transmission projects, strengthen energy efficiency standards and emphasize more efficient products and cleaner vehicles in government purchases.

"North America has the capacity, resources and the moral imperative to build on that agreement," the statement read.

Mexico will also commit to joining the US and Canada in tackling methane emissions.

In February, the three countries signed a trilateral agreement that could mark the start of discussions on the first North American accord on climate change and clean energy.

Renewable energy in the US accounts for about 13.5 percent of domestically produced electricity. The figure in Mexio is 26 percent, while renewable energy resources provide 18.9 percent of Canada’s total primary energy supply.

Brexit too, what else?

The three also discussed fallout from Britain's decision to leave the EU, while the attack on a Turkish airport that killed 41 people was also expected to be part of talks on how North America's neighbors can collectively enhance security.

Trump on NAFTA

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for US president, has threatened to remove the US from the NAFTA, in effect since 1994. Trump also pledged on Tuesday that as president he would withdraw from an agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations that has yet to take effect.

Bridges versus walls

"This is a time when a lot of leaders in the world are talking about building walls," Canada's international trade minister Chrystia Freeland told The Associated Press.

"What you are going to hear from the leaders of Canada, the United States and Mexico is that we are a continent and we believe in building bridges. We really believe in the open society. Those are core Canadian values, open to immigration, open to visitors and open to trade."

Obama also plans to address the Canadian Parliament - the ninth American leader to do so and the first since Bill Clinton in 1995.

jbh/kl (AP, AFP)

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